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FRITHJQF SCHUON UNDERSTANDING ISLAM FRITHJOF SCHUON with a foreword by Annemarie Schimmel WoridWisdom Contents Foreword v Preface viii. Islamic Quarterly has called Understanding Islam a “masterpiece of comparative religion,” and one of the most respected writers on Sufism, the late Professor. a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

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Books by Frithjof Schuon. The sacred introduces a quality of the absolute into relativities and confers on perishable things a texture of eternity.

Understanding Islam : A New Translation with Selected Letters

Nor is Ramadan a recreation, and the same is true of the regular, and often nocturnal, practice of prayer; most certainly Islam did not impose itself because it was easy. The atrocities traditionally committed in the name of religion are a proof of this; in this respect only esoterism is beyond reproach.

The question is this: On the plane of the Whole Man, two dimensions can be distinguished: See also Intellect, Quran and the Intellect 93,and Nature and prayer and sacred art as knowledge diversity of forms of 47 formula of 62 inward vs.

All too many people no longer even know what an idea is, what its value and what its function is, they do not so much as suspect that perfect and definitive theories have always existed, theories which are therefore on their own level fully adequate and effective, and that there is nothing to add to what has been said by the sages of old except effort on our own part to understand it.

At death man is confronted by the unimaginable expanse of a reality no longer fragmentary but total and then by the norm of what he has pretended to be, since that norm is part of Reality.

A similar error would have it that everything begins from written texts: Understanfing he was not officially affiliated with the academic world, his writings have been noticed in scholarly and philosophical journals, and by scholars of comparative religion and spirituality.

By this we mean, not that religions have monopolies but that each lays stress on one or another aspect of truth. There is in this call no egoism, for pure prayer is the most intimate and most precious form iwlam the gift of self.

Understanding Islam – Frithjof Schuon – Google Books

One point which needs to be brought out here is that the criterion of metaphysical truth or of its depth lies, not in the complexity or difficulty of its expression, but in the quality and effectiveness of its symbolism, allowing for a particular capacity of understanding or style of thinking.

In this context let us recall that Moslems divide actions into five categories: A path based on action. The relativity of a certain Sunna, in a perspective which is not a karma-yoga, still less an exoterism, does not annul the importance which the aesthetic integrity of forms has for a civilization, right down to the objects that surround us; for whereas abstaining from a symbolic action is not in itself an error, the presence of a false form is a permanent error ; 7 even he who is subjectively independent of it cannot deny that it is an error, and thus an element contrary in principle to spiritual health and to the imponderables of barakah.


Herein lies the whole difference between the supernatural and the natural: The remembrance of God is at the same time a forgetting of oneself; conversely, the ego is a kind of crystallization of forgetfulness of God.

An important book, though not the smoothest read. Quotes from Understanding Islam. We have already seen that the first Sxhuon is directly followed by the second — that of the Prophet — which it includes implicitly and which issues from it as if by polarization.

For us, intelligence can have no other object than frithuof, just as love has beauty or goodness for its Each traditional form identifies its founder with the divine Logos and looks on the other spokesmen of Heaven, insofar as it takes them into consideration, as projections of this founder and as secondary manifestations of the one Logos; in the case of Buddhists, Christ and the Prophet can only be envisaged as Buddhas.

Understanding Islam by Frithjof Schuon

But, to my undersanding, as I read on,I found certain things which are very similar to those teachings in the Gita. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages frithjf help you find your new favourite book.

In every period, sages and hermits have gone to seek nature; it was near nature that they felt far from the world and close to Heaven; innocent and pious, but nonetheless profound and terrible, nature was ever their refuge. BoxBloomington, Indiana www. I don’t think Islam has ever been explained more clearly.

Al-Mansur had in his company several Counts, who had joined him with their troops, and there was nothing exceptional in the presence of Christian guards at the court of Andalusia.

In Hebrew the word avir designates both air and ether: Strange limitless ocean that I am! Finally, when the Quran appears to deny the death of Christ, it can be understood to mean that in reality Jesus vanquished death, whereas the Jews believed they had killed the Christ rfithjof his very essence; 13 here the truth of the symbol prevails over the truth of the fact in the sense that a spiritual negation takes the form of a material negation.

The Spirit Ar-Ruh is here an exception because of its central position among the Angels, which confers on it the Prophetic function in the highest sense; the Quran mentions it separately from the Angels and it is also said that the Spirit was not required to prostrate before Adam as they were; in Moslem logic It would merit, like Muhammad, both the salat and the salam.

The great understnding in man is that he wants the multiple but without wishing to pay the ransom of this sundering; he wants relativity with its savor of absoluteness or infinity, but without the suffering arising from its sharp edges; he desires extension but not limitation, as if the former could exist apart from the latter and as if pure extension could be found on the plane of measurable things. This last point of view does not, strictly speaking, attain to the Absolute and this is as much as to say that it attributes an understaanding character to what is relative and is ignorant of Maya and the degrees of reality or of illusion; it does not conceive of the These considerations should make it clear why the prejudice which attempts to explain everything in terms of borrowings or syncretism is ill-founded, for the doctrines of wisdom, being true, cannot fail to be concordant; and if the basis is identical, it must be that the expressions are so too.


For if Islam is true, and there is only “One”, yet many unique manifestations in our world which is at the very basis of Islamic theology – One God, many manifestationsthen the One is going to look different through different “lenses”. When Saint Vincent de Paul designed the headdress of the Sisters of Charity, he intended to impose on their gaze a kind of reminiscence of monastic isolation. Totality is that of which we are a part; and we are a part, not of God who is without parts, but of Creation, which — taken as a whole — is the prototype and norm of our being, while its center, Ar-Ruhis the root of our intelligence; this root is a vehicle for the Uncreated Intellect, increatus et increabile according to Meister Eckhart.

But we must distinguish different degrees in sacred art, thus different levels of absoluteness or of relativity56 and in addition we must take account of the relative character of form as such. There is a certain, no doubt paradoxical, relationship between virile strength and virginal purity in the sense that both uhderstanding concerned with the inviolability of the sacred echuon, 11 strength in a dynamic and combative manner and purity in a static and defensive manner; it understandiny also be said that strength, a warrior quality, includes a mode or complement that is static or passive, and this is sobriety, love of poverty and of fasting and incorruptibility, all of which are pacific or nonagressive qualities.

The path of those on whom is Thy Grace; 7.

Apart from this, when speaking of paganism — and we are adopting this conventional term without regard either to its etymology or its unpleasant associations, silam chiefly arise from abuses — there is doubtless always need to make a reservation as regards a sapiential esoterism inaccessible to the majority and in fact incapable of acting upon that majority.

These substances are, in ascending order: